R U OK? A conversation can make all the difference

Stories | September 12, 2019

At just 26 years old, Hein lost his sight due to an accident at work. No longer able to take care of his wife and child the way he had previously, Hein struggled with the physical and psychological impacts that accompany sudden blindness.

“I was very depressed. I wanted to die. I thought, ‘I am a young man – and now my life is useless. How am I going to support my family and provide for them financially?”

Learning to live without his sight proved difficult and resulted in Hein’s mental health deteriorating.

1 in 4 people experience some form of mental health condition in their lifetime. This includes depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

Hein became increasingly withdrawn from his family and attempted to take his own life.

When someone is struggling with their mental health they may withdraw from relationships and isolate themselves. Now is the time that they need friends, family members and co-workers to check in and ask, “Are you OK?”

Offering a friendly conversation can be the difference in someone feeling like a burden or a valued member of society. You don’t need to be an expert to reach out – just a good friend and great listener.

Fortunately, Hein’s suicide attempt was stopped by his family. With the help of CBM, Hein is now learning to overcome challenges and create the best life for his family. This includes providing Hein with a small business loan to empower him to work his way out of poverty, as well as rearranging his home furniture for easier navigation.

Hein holding a carers arm and using a white cane while walking down the stairs.
In January 2004, Hein Huynh lost his sight in an accident on a construction site. After suffering depression, alcoholism and attempting suicide, Hein (now 31 years old) runs his own farm and helps support his wife and daughter.

This assistance is only possible thanks to our financial donors.

R U OK? is a national campaign which aims to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life.

Read about CBM’s work with people with mental disabilities

5 things you need to know about mental health


World Mental Health Day is on 10 October. 

Download the toolkit to learn more about the mental health challenges faced by people with disabilities, living in poverty. Donate to our mental health programs to help us strengthen the voices of people with disabilities. 

Back to Stories

Your donation could save lives

Related Stories

Rise and Thrive: Building resilient communities through inclusive mental health

As the climate crisis accelerates, communities across the Indo-Pacific...

A Father’s Unconditional Love

Allan is a farmer and father of 21-year-old twin brothers, George and Gerald, who together, live in a remote village in the Bicol region...

Estrella’s journey from patient to mental health advocate

Had you asked Estrella from the Philippines what her future looked like five years...